UAE Tour 2019

February 24 - March 2, Al Hudayriat, UAE, Road - WorldTour

Complete Live Report

Live commentary by:
Patrick Fletcher

Live coverage of stage 2 of the inaugural UAE Tour, a flat 184km stage in Abu Dhabi.

 

 

  1. 14:35:54 GST

    Hello there and a warm welcome to our live race centre for stage 2 of the all-new UAE Tour. After the TTT on the opening day, the riders are on their road bikes for a flat stage in Abu Dhabi that's likely to come down to a bunch sprint. 

  2. 14:37:50 GST

    As we pick up the action, it's anything but a dull procession, with crosswinds blowing the race to pieces.

     

  3. 14:40:28 GST

    Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) and Elia Viviani (Deceuninck-QuickStep) are the big names to have been caught out in the crosswinds.

  4. 14:42:41 GST

    There's a four-man breakaway out there, containing: 

     

    Igor Boev (Gazprom-RusVelo)
    Stepan Kuriyanov (Gazprom-RusVelo)
    Sam Brand (Novo Nordisk)
    Charles Planet (Novo Nordisk)
     

     

  5. 92km remaining from 184km

    14:44:31 GST

    The quartet once had a lead of more than 12 minutes as the day started out very quietly. However, since the race hit the coastal roads, the pace in the peloton lifted dramatically as it split into echelons and the gap is now down to 2:40.

     

  6. 14:46:55 GST

    The peloton has split in two in the crosswinds. The front part - the second group on the road behind the breakaway - only contains around 20 or so riders. The rest of the field is a further minute back.

     

  7. 14:47:44 GST

    The desert sand is being blown straight across the road.

     

  8. 14:49:17 GST

    World champion Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) is one of the GC riders to have made this front echelon.

     

  9. 14:52:33 GST

    Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal), Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) and Marcel Kittel (Katusha-Alpecin) are the big-name sprinters in the first main group. 

  10. 83km remaining from 184km

    14:54:49 GST

    Kuriyanov wins the intermediate sprint but the break's lead is plummeting. The front peloton of 25 is only a minute back. The larger peloton is as 2:10, and there's a fourth group on the road at 4 minutes.

     

  11. 14:55:40 GST

    Race leader Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) is safely in the front echelon.

     

  12. 14:56:28 GST

    The riders go through the feed zone but there's no time for a leisurely lunch. The pace remains high.

     

  13. 15:00:38 GST

    Mark Cavendish and Elia Viviani are at the back of the large section of the peloton - the third group on the road - hoping this comes back together.

     

  14. 15:01:26 GST

    The pace has eased in the front peloton. They're looking around wondering what to do but they're not pressing on at the moment.

     

  15. 15:02:04 GST

    The pace has picked back up but the lull has seen the gap between the two main groups come down to 25 seconds.

     

  16. 15:02:54 GST

    Some of the names in the first peloton of 25:

     

    Gallopin, Baska, Schachmann, Devenyns, Haussler, Modolo, Ewan, Gaviria, Roglic, Kittel, Troia, van Rensburg, Kwiatkowski, Nibali, Valverde, Izagirre, Clarke, Bewley.

     

  17. 15:03:29 GST

    The riders are on the wide highways again and the breakaway are in sight at 20 seconds.

     

  18. 75km remaining from 184km

    15:04:51 GST

    The riders are still spread across the road in echelon formation.

     

  19. 74km remaining from 184km

    15:05:04 GST

    The breakaway are caught by the group of 25.

     

  20. 15:06:19 GST

    The second peloton is still at 25 seconds.

     

  21. 15:07:01 GST

    Viviani's Quick-Step are on the front of the second group trying to drag it back.

     

  22. 15:07:16 GST

    And it's coming back. They're sitting up in the front group.

     

  23. 72.5km remaining from 184km

    15:07:38 GST

    The two groups merge and it's back together.

     

  24. 15:10:09 GST

    There's still another group of riders further back, among them Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo). No time check at the moment.

     

  25. 15:14:00 GST

    The pace is much more sedate now and that allows Planet and Kuriyanov to go on the attack once more and form another breakaway. 

     

  26. 15:15:05 GST

    Richie Porte's group has been able to get back in. 

     

  27. 63km remaining from 184km

    15:18:50 GST

    So the peloton is pretty much all back together, with two breakaway riders up the road. Jumbo-Visma are setting an easy pace. As you were. 

     

  28. 15:21:58 GST

    The pace is so low that Planet and Kurianov have opened up a lead of 3:15.

     

  29. 15:22:52 GST

    The flurry of action in the crosswinds failed to definitively split the bunch, but it will have sapped the legs of the sprinters, which could be a factor come the finish.

     

  30. 15:23:54 GST

    The peloton are currently riding at 25km/h...

     

  31. 15:27:35 GST

    Caleb Ewan looked good in the echelons earlier. He spoke to our reporter Sadhbh O'Shea and explained that he's not in top shape here, but will be for Milan-San Remo in a month's time. Here's the full story:

     

    Ewan 'well on the way' to reaching top form for Milan-San Remo
     

     

  32. 15:27:59 GST

    The two breakaway riders now have 5:15. 

     

  33. 15:30:06 GST

    Jumbo-Visma decide enough's enough and start to raise the pace once again in the peloton. 

     

  34. 15:31:31 GST

    For a re-cap of how Jumbo-Visma won the opening-day TTT and put Roglic into the red jersey, here's our stage 1 report, with results and a photo gallery. 

     

    Jumbo-Visma win UAE Tour TTT

     

  35. 50km remaining from 184km

    15:36:04 GST

    50km to go and Planet and Kuriyanov lead the way, 5:20 ahead of the peloton. Jumbo-Visma are working for now but soon the sprinters' teams will have to come to the fore to bring the duo back in time for a bunch gallop. 

     

  36. 15:42:56 GST

    What can Mark Cavendish do today? The Manxman has played down his chances, explaining his Dimension Data team are here for GC. He is still easing his way back after a long period of illness with mononucleosis. Here's what he had to say on the eve of the race.

     

    Mark Cavendish: I don't remember what it's like to feel normal anymore

     

  37. 41km remaining from 184km

    15:50:09 GST

    The two breakaway riders come to the last intermediate sprint. It's Planet who opens it up and manages to hold off Kuriyanov, who won the previous one.

     

  38. 40km remaining from 184km

    15:52:52 GST

    Sill Jumbo-Visma on the front of the bunch. With 40km to go the gap is down to just over four minutes.

     

  39. 15:54:15 GST

    The peloton come to the intermediate sprint and Wilco Kelderman clips off to take the final remaining bonus second.

     

  40. 16:03:27 GST

    If you missed the racing at the weekend, we have you covered. Neo-pro Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) wrapped up the overall title at the Volta ao Algarve, while Zdenek Stybar (Deceuninck-QuickStep) won the final stage. Here's our report page, with results and photos.

     

    Over at the Ruta del Sol, the overall title went to Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) as Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-Scott) claimed the final stage. Here's our report page

     

    Finally, Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) won the final stage and the overall at the Tour du Haut Var, and Clara Koppenburg (WNT-Rotor) sealed victory at the Setmana Ciclista Valenciana, with Lotta Lepisto (Trek-Segafredo) winning the final stage.

     

  41. 33km remaining from 184km

    16:04:49 GST

    The gap isn't coming down too quickly. Planet and Kuruyanov lead by 4:20.

     

  42. 30km remaining from 184km

    16:10:24 GST

    The sprinters' teams have now come to the front of the peloton. It's Mikkel Honore for Viviani's Deceuninck-QuickStep team, and Vegard Stake Laengen for the UAE Team Emirates outfit of Gaviria and Kristoff.

     

  43. 25km remaining from 184km

    16:19:10 GST

    The contribution from the sprinters' teams has seen the gap to the two leaders fall to 2:40. 

     

  44. 21.5km remaining from 184km

    16:26:12 GST

    1:25 is the gap now as Bora-Hansgrohe contribute to the chase. They're working for Sam Bennett here. 

     

  45. 16:27:32 GST

    Bora are really digging in here. There has been a change in direction and the win is once again coming from the side. 

     

  46. 16:27:56 GST

    A small group of riders has just lost contact at the back.

     

  47. 16:28:54 GST

    The race is heading along the coast once again, though it's not as exposed. It will turn right again for the final couple of kilometres, meaning a headwind sprint. 

     

  48. 16:30:09 GST

    Bora are still leading. CCC behind them, working for Jakub Mareczko. 

     

  49. 16:30:39 GST

    With 18km to go, the gap to Planet and Kuriyanov is down to 30 seconds.

     

  50. 16:32:24 GST

    Bora disappear now as the bunch spreads across the road again. Sunweb, Trek, FDJ have a rider each on the front. 

     

  51. 16:33:57 GST

    The pace is pretty sedate once again.

     

  52. 16:34:06 GST

    Jumbo-Visma hit the front again.

     

  53. 15km remaining from 184km

    16:35:46 GST

    15km to go and the breakaway duo are in sight at 15 seconds.

     

  54. 16:36:04 GST

    Roglic sits third wheel as Jumbo-Visma take control.

     

  55. 14km remaining from 184km

    16:37:03 GST

    Planet and Kuriyanov sit up and accept their fate. All together.

     

  56. 16:38:47 GST

    The riders hit a wide open highway and Movistar hit the front, with Valverde in third position. 

     

  57. 16:40:18 GST

    Movistar are setting a high pace. So far it's the GC teams keeping their leaders out of trouble but the sprint trains will be starting to form soon enough. 

     

  58. 16:41:41 GST

    Sunweb start to assemble on the left-hand side. Their sprinter is Max Walscheid, who could take the overall lead with a win today, thanks to bonus seconds.

     

  59. 10km remaining from 184km

    16:42:10 GST

    10km to go and it's not winding up just yet. 

     

  60. 16:43:36 GST

    Here come EF Education First in their striking pink jerseys. They have Dan McLay and Sacha Modolo. 

  61. 8.5km remaining from 184km

    16:43:48 GST

    Still Movistar lead the way.

  62. 16:45:21 GST

    Viviani, Gaviria, Kittel, Ewan, Cavendish, Bennett, Walscheid, Bauhaus.... It's a quality field of sprinters. 

     

  63. 7km remaining from 184km

    16:46:06 GST

    Bauhaus' Bahrain-Merida teammates move up now.

     

  64. 6km remaining from 184km

    16:46:53 GST

    Movistar continue to lead the way.

     

  65. 16:47:25 GST

    Viviani's QuickStep teammates are now getting involved, moving up on the right.

     

  66. 16:48:49 GST

    The riders are on the Abu Dhabi Corniche heading along before the right-hand turn to the finishing straight. 

     

  67. 16:49:44 GST

    Valverde is still in third position, staying as safe as possible. The 3km-to-go banner is the safety net for GC riders. Any crashed after that point and time gaps will be neutralised. 

     

  68. 3km remaining from 184km

    16:50:26 GST

    Katusha moving men up now.

     

  69. 16:50:53 GST

    Still Movistar on the nose but Sunweb and Bora are amassed behind them.

     

  70. 2.5km remaining from 184km

    16:51:10 GST

    And now Movistar pull off. Subweb take it up.

     

  71. 2km remaining from 184km

    16:51:34 GST

    Dimension Data move Cavendish up on the right-hand side. 

  72. 16:51:53 GST

    FDJ now take it up for Marc Sarreau.

     

  73. 1.4km remaining from 184km

    16:52:09 GST

    FDJ lead into the right-hand bend. Here we go.

     

  74. 16:52:24 GST

    FDJ have three on the front. Here come Bahrain on the left.

     

  75. 1km remaining from 184km

    16:52:36 GST

    Flamme rouge. Last kilometre!

     

  76. 16:52:55 GST

    Bahrain lead the way now, Katusha have numbers alonsgide.

     

  77. 16:53:08 GST

    Viviani's leadout man hits the front now.

  78. 16:53:23 GST

    300m to go and Kristoff leads out Gaviria

     

  79. 16:53:32 GST

    Gaviria goes from range!

  80. 16:53:42 GST

    Viviani opens up and comes back...

     

  81. 16:54:04 GST

    So close between Gaviria and Viviani!

     

  82. 16:54:23 GST

    Gaviria takes it on the line.

     

  83. 16:54:53 GST

    Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) wins stage 2 of the UAE Tour

     

  84. 17:02:14 GST

    After Kristoff's lead-out, Gaviria went from range. Viviani had positioned himself in the Colombian's slipstream and stayed there for a good while before attempting to come around, but he was unable to do so. 

  85. 17:02:33 GST

    Roglic finished safely in the peloton and retains the overall lead of the race.

  86. 17:03:37 GST

    Here's Gaviria's reaction

     

    "The sprint was really difficult because there was a lot of strong riders. My teammates did a really good job on the stage even in the wind. The peloton took it easy after the wind and it worked perfectly. I had a really good lead-out man with Kristoff. It's not only good for me but for the team. UAE is a new country for me and is the sponsor for the team, it is important for the team and for me."

  87. 17:30:13 GST

     

  88. 17:30:56 GST

    Here's our report page:

     

    UAE Tour: Gaviria wins stage 2

     

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